DIT and Media Management

The handling and organization of digital media in the field is an absolutely critical component of the filmmaking process. This work must be performed by a qualified Digital Imaging Technician (DIT). The DIT is the camera department crew member who works in collaboration with the cinematographer on workflow, systemization, camera settings, signal integrity, and image manipulation to maintain the highest image quality in the digital realm and achieve the creative goals of the cinematographer. The DIT uses a specialized set of tools, typically including a computer; high-resolution 3D monitor; high-capacity, high-performance RAID storage; and other hardware and software that assists in the management, archiving, and trans-coding of digital files in the field.

Days or even weeks of footage can be lost or corrupted in an instant in the hands of an unskilled DIT, or in the ill-advised pursuit of cost savings, such as by using cheap but less reliable media or gear, or by failing to make timely backups of the footage. The importance of the DIT and of careful management of digital footage cannot be overstated.

An experienced DIT will ensure digital footage is properly organized, backed up, and trans- ported back to the lab or post facility. The DIT allows producers to review their footage in the field, in 3D if necessary, and is constantly looking out for any problems with the footage.

  • Proper workflow should be established well in advance of shooting, during pre- production, not on location.
  • Camera systems and workflow should be tested before shooting, with enough time to make adjustments, if necessary.
  • Shooting at 4K or higher and/or in 3D adds significantly greater demands on gear and storage, compared to TV or regular cinema.


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